How To Make Fluffy Steamed White Rice

Basmati Rice With Cilantro 

Everyday cooking at my home includes white rice without faliure.

The perfect rice is adorable at the time of dinner. It is said that expert chef can be recognised by the perfectly cooked rice.

I think i have a  simple technique to How to cook white rice like a pro.

Two Common Methods For Cooking Fluffy Rice

one is absorption method and second one is pasta method. There are different varieties of rice grain and some old grain may take little more water and more cooking time. You will come to know by practice. Trials and errors are acceptable.

Absorption method : 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice or long grain rice
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 2 cups of water

Wash rice throughly, changing water three or four times till water is clear.  Check for stones and husk before washing.

Soaked White Rice In A Bowl

Let rice soak for 30 minutes.

Usually water to rice 2:1 ratio works well.  A heavy pot with tight lid works better so it does not scorch at bottom.

Transfer water, salt and rice together in a heavy saucepan.

Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Let the water boil uncovered for 5-7 minutes.

Boiling water with rice

Stirring occasionally let it cook for 5-7 minutes.

Asborption of water in boiling rice 

If you are in doubt check with your thumb and index finger by pressing rice kernel. You will get good idea that it will still take more time.

Now cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to very low setting.

Absorption of water in rice cooking

Let the rice steep for 5-6 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let it sit undisturbed for 15 minutes.  This is important because it is still cooking inside.

After 15 minutes uncover the pan, fluff rice with a fork , let the steam escape so it won’t over cook.

Fluff your rice with fork

You can add dash of butter or ghee to enhance the flavor.

Pasta Method:

Wash the rice throughly changing water three or four times till water runs clearly. Let it soak for 30 minutes or less is okay too.

In a heavy sauce pan fill water half way and bring to a boil. Add salt.

Add the rice to the boiling water for 5-7 minutes stirring once or twice. Let it boil till the kernels are tender. If you are in doubt check it by pressing rice kernels with your index finger and thumb. If it is not tender or cooked let it cook for couple more minutes.

Brown rice and old rice do take little more time to cook.

Drain cooked rice in colander

Immediately drain the rice into a colander just like pasta and run a cold water through it.

This way it will not over cook it.

Transfer the rice into serving plate and garnish with cilantro and ghee for nice refreshing flavor.

White rice with roasted cumin and cilantro

Tips:

How did your rice turn out? is it sticky?

While rice is boiling and it is almost done by adding few drops of lemon juice your rice will never be sticky.

Rice will look very white and fluffy.

Enjoy with Dals and healthy fresh vegetable curry!

Next I will be happy to share with you How  To Transform Your Left Over Rice In A Culinary cuisine In A ZIp!

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Fresh Baked Biscotti

 

Recently on my birthday my son  surprised me with his home made Biscotti.

To my surprise Biscotti was easy to chew and very flavorful.

I would like to pass on this simple  no fuss Italian cookie recipe to my readers.

Prep time:15 minutes

Bake time:30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds un bleached
  • 3/4 cup finely ground almonds un bleached
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract

Preparation:

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

1. In a medium size bowl, mix together  flour, sugar, whole almonds, finely ground almonds, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

2. In a separate bowl, blend together the honey, water and extract, then add to dry ingredients and mix well till well blended.

3. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half and make a log almost oblong in shape.

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Oblong Shape dough

4. Place log into parchment paper and bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.

5. place log on cutting board and cut diagonally  into 1/2 inch slices.

6. Place slices on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes .

7. Let it cool and serve.

Biscotti stays fresh up to two weeks.

 

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Home made Biscotti

Easy Eggless cheesecake

 

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Me and my family love cheesecake but it is impossible to find one without the eggs in the super market. So I created a eggless cheesecake for me and my family to enjoy!

Prep time : 20 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ready-made graham crust 10″ inch
  • 24  oz softened cream cheese
  • 3 Tbsp sour creamwww.thevegfusion.com
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch + 3 Tbsp water blended
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla essencephoto 2
  • Fresh lemon zest

For Layering:

  • 5 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp sugar mixed
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Mix till smooth

To garnish:

  • 1 Tsp corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp orange Juice
  • 1 Tsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp of water
  • 1 Pint Fresh strawberries washed and cut lengthwise
  • and/or choice of berries

How to prepare:

1. Heat the oven to 350 Degrees.
2. Mix the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla essence and lemon zest with mixer till it is well blended.
3. Pour mixture into crust.
4.  Bake the cheesecake in a water bath to keep the oven moisture high and the heat cautiously. Make sure you don’t overhear the cheesecake otherwise it will burn.  (A water bath is using a larger pan containing water in which to place the smaller cheesecake baking pan.) 
5. Cover the cheese cake with foil.
6. Bake for 45 minutes. Let it cool for 4 hours or overnight.

Make a water Bath

Make a water Bath

For Toppings:         

1. Mix sour cream with sugar evenly.
2. Apply a layer of sour cream on cool cheese cake evenly with flat spatula.

ready from Oven without cracks

ready from Oven without cracks

 

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Apply Layer of Sour cream and Sugar

To Garnish:

1. On low heat add corn starch, orange juice, sugar  and water in a small pan.
2. Whisk till it is translucent or clear. Let it cool.
3. Fold fresh  strawberries or berries of your own choice.
4. Garnish the design you like. Spread it as you wish.

Enjoy !

 

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Cut Strawberries

 

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Liquid to Fold Into Strawberries

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Arrange Strawberries

Tips: 

For the healthy eating cream cheese can be substitute for Ricotta cheese. Sometimes i tries to add lingo berries preserves for variations.

I understand that you are a good cook if your cheesecake does not crack. Let me know how it turned out in your comments!

Making Cheesecake eggless

Making Cheesecake eggless

Refreshing Watermelon Smoothie

ahhhhh cool watermelon smoothie

Water melon smoothie is a quick way of refreshing and replenishing fluid in body. It is simple and quick. Me and my grand daughter’s favorite!!!!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup cubed water melon seeded
  • 1 cup red grapes
  • 5 fresh strawberries
  • pinch of salt  and pepper
  • ice

How to make:

Mix everything together and blend in a blender . I prefer to use heavy duty blender, it does job well.  I rely on my VITA MIX blender which process fruit skins, seeds very finely so nutrition are at peak level.

Tips:
I do use different fruits such as blueberries, apples, pear is also one of my choice. What is your favorite let me know in your comments.

No Carb Zucchini Pasta

Zucchini Pasta

Zucchini pasta is a gluten free, vegan pasta. It is great for picky eater kids.  Zucchini has lots of vitamins. It is low in calories, contains no saturated fats. Thus it makes ideal dish for weight watchers.
I have tried zucchini pasta with different sauces and ingredients and every time it tastes great. My favorite one is with pesto sauce recipe is below.

Prep time : Ten minutes
Cook time : Five minutes

Mandoline peeler 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Fresh Zucchini
  • 2 Tbsp Pesto sauce
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Black beans from can rinsed and drained
  •  Mandoline peeler to make ribbons of pasta
  • 2 Tbsp Sunflower seeds  
  • 5 Cherry Tomatoes

How To Prepare:


1. Wash and clean fresh zucchini. Cut both the ends off.
2. To make Zucchini pasta use a spiral mandoline to transform the zucchini into delicate thin ribbons.

Thin Ribbons

3. No need to cook zucchini in the oven. Squeeze out excess water with cheese cloth if there is any excess water.

4. In a wok on a medium heat add olive oil, lemon juice and fresh basil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 5. Add pesto sauce, black beans and Saute’ for couple of minutes.
6. Garnish with sunflower seeds for the crunch.
Enjoy

Yummy Low carb Pasta

How did your pasta turn out? Let me know in your comments!
 Try carb free gluten free my Spaghetti Squash pasta recipe!

Original Bombay Sandwich

I’m a fan of CHOW reciepes and loved the Pickled Radish and Sweet Butter Tea Sandwich. It reminded me of the Original Bombay Sandwich that I would enjoy as a midafternoon snack.

Original Bombay Sandwich

Good thing about sandwiches are that you can make layers of different kind of vegetables and spreads. Here I have spreads as cilantro chutney which is flavorful, made from scratch. I have layered with boiled potatoes, beets, crunchy raw onions and cucumbers, sprinkled with sandwich masala. Butter, chutney and ketchup are used as spreads. Which gives spicy, tangy and sweet taste that is unique to Bombay sandwich.

Ingredients:

  • 8 Slices of white bread I prefer pepperidge farm bread thin slices. Remove the edges.
  • 1 Small garden cucumber cut into round pieces
  • 2 Medium firm tomatoes cut into round pieces
  • 1 Medium red onions cut into round pieces
  • 1 Boiled beet and cut into round slices
  • 2 Medium boiled potatoes cut into round slices
  • 1/2 Stick of room temperature butter
  • 5 spoons of ketchup optional
  • Small bowl of green cilantro chutney
  • Salt and Pepper or Sandwich Masala or chat Masala

Slices of vegetables and Spreads

How to Make:

  1. Apply butter on four slices. 
  2. Second layer will be chutney spread all over so it covers all the corners. 
  3. Third layer will ketchup if desired. 
  4. Cover with cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, onions and beets on top of one another.
  5. Sprinkle chat masala on in between each layer. 
  6. Cover with another slices and cut diagonally or into three pieces.

    Layers of cut vegetables 

    Sandwich

    Slice As you like it

    How do you enjoy your sandwich? Did you prefer raw or cooked vegetables? I am eager to try different ways of making sandwiches. Let me know in your comments!

      

    Misti Dahi – Yogurt Cheesecake With Nutmeg

    Misti Dahi – Yogurt cheesecake

    Delicacy Sweets From West Bengal, India 

    West Bengal is very famous for its delicacy sweets.  One of my favorite sweet growing up was Misti Dahi.  No need to say that was one of my love affair with yogurt, that explains it is very hard for me to be vegan completely.  Looking back this was a healthy dessert.

    Healthy Alternative To Cheesecake

    Misti Dahi is creamy and velvety smooth. It is very similar to a cheesecake.  I love to make MISTI DAHI as well as cheese cake without the eggs.

    Usually Misti Dahi is made by boiling and reducing milk so it becomes little thick and creamy adding molasses made by dates or plain brown sugar to make it sweet. Earthenware or bakeware can be used to set the yogurt. The reason to use earthenware is because of its porous nature, which allows the water in the yogurt to be absorbed.  Earthenware in picture is courtesy of my Bengali friend Rita Ghosh.

    How To Make Misti Dahi

    Prep time 10 minutes
    Bake time 3 hours
    chill in refrigerator over night    

    Ingredients:

    1 Cup sweetened condense milk 
    2 Cup Greek plain yogurt
    1 Tsp Rose water optional

    Garnish:

    Freshly grated nutmeg
    Fresh seasonal fruit cut into small bite size pieces
    Pistachio and/or saffron
    5 heatproof bowls 


    How to prepare:

    1. Mix the condense milk, yogurt and rose water in a bowl.
    2. Whisk till mixture becomes smooth.
    3. Divide the mixture equally into the earthen bowls.
    4. Cover the bowls with aluminum foils.
    5. Place the oven rack in middle of the oven.
    6. Heat the oven on low setting of 75 degrees.
    7. keep the bowls in the oven for 3 hours.
    8. Remove from oven and refrigerate overnight.
    9. Garnish with grated nutmeg, pistachio, or choice of your fruit. Enjoy!

    Dahi with Pomegranate, yumm!

    What do you think of this healthy alternative to cheesecake? Let me know in the comments below!

    Instant Salad For Busy Week nights

    Apple, Cucumber Mint Salad

    Preparation Time: 5 minutes
    cooking level very easy

    Ingredients:

    1 seedless cucumber chopped
    1 red apple chopped
    1 red onion chopped
    1 Salerno pepper seeded, chopped
    1/4 tsp of roasted  crushed cumin powder
    1/4 tsp of sea salt
    1/4 tsp of lemon juice
    Few leaves of fresh mint and cilantro chopped finely.

    Toss all the ingredients in a bowl. Add seasoning stir and Instant salad is ready!

    For variation carrots, radishes,  raw mango, parsnips, pomegranate seeds works well. It is quick, easy and instantly adds nutritional value to any meal. Enjoy.

    Ancient Butternut Squash Recipe from my Home Town

    Recently my neighbor gave me a fresh butternut squash from her vegetable garden. I have some fresh ridge gourd from my home garden. Suddenly it reminded me a traditional recipe from my home town Patan, from state of Gujarat, India. 
    Here, today I have old version of a quick recipe of stir fry Ridge Gourd and Butternut squash in new environment. It is healthy quick and best part of it can be substituted for any other vegetables.

     My Home Town 

    Butternut Squash and Ridge Gourd

    Prep Time: 10 Minutes
    Cooking time: 10 Minutes
    Serves: Five
    cooking level very easy
    Gluten free, Jain ,Vegan 


    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups chopped butternut squash
    • 2 cups chopped ridge gourd
    • 1/2 tsp of salt
    • 1/4 tsp of chili
    • 2 tsp coriander/cumin powder
    • 2 tsp of olive oil
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric
    • pinch of astofedia
    • 1 tsp of lemon juice
    Cut Pieces of Ridge Gourd and Butternut Squash

    How to Make:

    1. On a medium heat in a wok add two spoon of oil.
    2. Add a pinch of astofedia and add ridge gourd and squash.
    3. Stir fry all the vegetables gently. Add salt, chili, tuermeric and coriander/cumin powder. Add lemon juice.
    4. Saute’ the vegetables. Cover and let it cook. Stirring them occasionally. It will take 4-5 mintues.

    Congratulations, you just made a delicious stir fry vegetable dish loaded with vitamins!

    BONUS: For variation peas can be added. Enjoy :)

    Ridge gourd and butternut squash stir fry

      Have you tried recently any different squash recipes? Let me know in the comments below!

      Butternut Squash Soup

      Fresh Butternut Squash Soup

      I strongly believe in using fresh and seasonal produce. Butternut squash is in season right now at tastes amazingly fresh. This is an easy and fun recipe. 
      • Serves: Four
      • Preparation time: 30 minutes
      • cooking level is very easy
      • Vegan and Gluten free

      Ingredients:

      • 1 Butternut Squash Peeled, Seeded, Chopped
      • 1 Tart Green Apple, Chopped
      • 1 Onion Chopped
      • 1 Celery Rib Chopped
      • 1 Carrot Chopped 
      • 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
      • 1 Chopped Serrano Pepper
      • 1 Small Piece of Ginger, Chopped
      • 4 Cups of Water or Vegetable Broth
      • Few Thyme leaves
      • Pinch of Nutmeg 
      • Pumpkin Seeds to Garnish
      • Salt

      Preparations:

      1. On a medium high heat in a sauce pan add two tbsp of olive oil. Saute onion, celery, carrots for 3-4 minutes.
      2. Add butternut squash, apple chunks and saute for  few minutes.
      3. Add four cups of water or vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
      4. Add salt, ginger and pepper. Let it simmer for 20 minutes.

      Puree the mixture

      5. Using a hand blender, puree the mixture to a smooth consistency. Be careful, it will be hot!
      6. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds. Thyme leaves and/or  my favorite sprinkle with nutmeg. (Candid walnuts is another great option if you don’t have pumpkin seeds)

       Butternut squash soup with roasted pumpkin seeds

      Bonus Tip: For busy folks, buy pre-cut butternut squash at your local grocery store.